Wednesday, November 14

Anal Cancer (Real Life Story)


(How Are They Connected)

Rising rates of anal cancer among men in the USA have been heavily influenced by the HIV epidemic since the 1980s, a study shows.
However, the authors found that while rates of anal cancer are higher in women than men, and have also increased during the same period, HIV infection has not significantly contributed to this.
Meredith Shiels (National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland) and colleagues used data collected between 1980 and 2005 from the HIV/AIDS Cancer Match (HACM) Study, which incorporates 17 HIV/AIDS and cancer registries. During this time there were 20,533 anal cancer cases, of which 1665 (8.1%) occurred in HIV-infected patients.
Between 1980 and 1984 and 2001 and 2005, the incidence of anal cancer rose from 0.44 to 0.93 cases per 100,000 men and the proportion of anal cancers in HIV-positive men rose from 1.1% to 28.4%. Overall, 83.5% of HIV-infected anal cancer cases were in men who have sex with men.

Rates of anal cancer also increased in women. The authors estimated that between 1980 and 1984 and 2001 and 2005 the incidence of anal cancer rose from 0.68 to 1.29 per 100,000 years, and the proportion of anal cancer among HIV-positive women rose from 0% to 1.2%.
Shiels and colleagues found that while HIV-infected anal cancer cases strongly influenced the overall trend in incidence in men, exclusion of HIV-related cases had no effect on the increase in incidence rate in women.

While anal cancer is rare in the USA, it is the fourth most common cancer among HIV-infected individuals. The authors say that the association is likely to be related to anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which is transmitted during anal sex. HIV-related immunosuppression may also impair the immune response to HPV infection, making HIV-infected individuals more susceptible to anal cancer.
They say that their findings could influence potential public health strategies such as HPV vaccination or Papanicolaou testing.

"Measures that would effectively prevent anal cancer in HIV-infected males could markedly reduce anal cancer rates at the population level," they write in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "In contrast, very few females with anal cancer were HIV-infected, and more research is needed to understand causes of rising anal cancer incidence in females."

The presence of palpable, clinically involved inguinal lymph nodes (PCIINs) and male gender are both independent risk factors for poor prognosis in anal cancer, confirm the results of a UK analysis.
The researchers analyzed data from 292 patients in the Anal Cancer Trial (ACT) I trial who received chemoradiation between 1987 and 1994. From this, they generated prognostic scores for locoregional failure at 2 years, anal cancer death at 5 years, and overall survival at 5 years.
Regression analysis showed that male gender and PCIINs were independent risk factors for all three endpoints.

In comparison with women, the risk for locoregional failure was 60% greater (36 vs 26%), for anal cancer death was 80% greater (39 vs 25%), and for any death was 56% greater for men (82 vs 57%). Meanwhile, the presence of PCIINs increased the risk for locoregional failure by 87% (40 vs 28%), and for anal cancer death by 83% (45 vs 27%), and led to significantly worse overall survival compared with patients with inpalpable nodes.

After adjusting for gender and lymph node status, the authors also found that lower hemoglobin level increased the risk for anal cancer death, while increased baseline white blood cell count reduced overall survival.

"The use of hemoglobin as a risk-stratification factor may be useful in future trials and may provide a method with which to identify patients who might benefit from future methods of hypoxic modification of radiotherapy," Robert Glynne-Jones (Mount Vernon Center for Cancer Treatment, Northwood, UK) and colleagues write in Cancer.

They add that pretreatment white blood cell count may be prognostic due to the role of inflammation in cancer progression.

Effects of Chemotherapy




Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with one or more cytotoxic antineoplastic drugs ("chemotherapeutic agents") as part of a standardized regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with acurative intent or it may aim to prolong life or to palliate symptoms. It is often used in conjunction with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or surgery.
Some newer anticancer drugs (for example, various monoclonal antibodies) are not indiscriminately cytotoxic, but rather target proteins that are abnormally expressed in cancer cells and that are essential for their growth. Such treatments are often referred to as targeted therapy (as distinct from classic chemotherapy) and are often used alongside traditional chemotherapeutic agents in antineoplastic treatment regimens.

Sunday, October 28

Comprehensive Treatment for Breast Cancer

Do You Know Someone Who Has It?

Watch this Doctor and their New Methods in treating and managing Breast Cancer patients in their Hospital.

For those who wanted to know more about their methods.

Free Breast Cancer Discussion and Q & A with Dr. Steven Schonholz

CHD's Cancer House of Hope will host a free breast cancer discussion and Q & A with Dr. Steven Schonholz, breast surgeon and director of Noble Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Program. Dr. Schonholz will address general topics specific to a breast cancer diagnosis and take questions from the audience.
The discussion will take place at 7:15pm on Thursday, October 25, at CHD's Cancer House of Hope, 86 Court Street, Westfield. To register, please call 413-562-0110.

Dr. Steven Schonholz
Mercy Medical Center
271 Carew St
Springfield, MA 01104

Dr. Steven Schonholz specializes in general surgery in Springfield, Massachusetts. Details of Dr. Schonholz's 30 years experience as a MD, his hospital affiliation and education at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Friday, October 12


Latest Breast Cancer Detector for Women

Devised and Designed by Dr. Elias Siores of the UK's University of Bolton in 2007, the bra has been tested for sensitivity and accuracy in three clinical trials involving 650 subjects—and now nearly on completion toward being a marketable product. The company, First Warning Systems, a final clinical trial is being planned. But so far, so good: studies have shown it can indicate cancer up to six years before a tumor can be detected by imaging,


The bra works via its microwave antennae system woven into the fabric. Using the science of thermography, it can detect slight temperature changes as the result of increased blood flow, which could signal the development of breast cancer tumors. Users can track the signals on a computer or smartphone, and elevation in temperatures will set off a warning for users to call their doctor. "And while getting a weekly mammogram to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages is impractical, wearing a smart sports bra that's just as effective at early detection isn't," writes Gizmodo on Wednesday, adding that this bra has potential to "revolutionize screenings."

Ttraditional screenings are not as effective for women under 40 due to their denser breast tissue, this could prove a viable option. However, since women will need to wear the bra regularly to detect changes, it might not be that practical for some women. Assuming the final clinical trial yields positive results, the bra could hit the market next year in Europe and potentially in the US in 2014, pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
So who will be the first to test and use this new generation bra!

Breast Cancer And Hormone Therapy

Is Hormone Therapy Safe for Breast Cancer?

Many postmenopausal women are looking for alternatives to hormone therapy, especially in light of the recent Women's Health Initiative research findings concerning the risks of combined estrogen and progestin therapy. Of particular interest are phytoestrogens, which have been gaining popularity due to their "natural" status, alleged health claims, and availability in a wide range of foods and supplements.


Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant compounds that have some similarities to estradiol, the most potent naturally occurring estrogen. However, phytoestrogens tend to have weaker effects than most estrogens, are not stored in the body, and can be easily broken down and eliminated.

Observational studies have found a lower prevalence of breast cancer, heart disease and hip fracture rates among people living in places like Southeast Asia, where diets are typically high in phytoestrogens. In North America, knowledge of these reported health effects has stimulated great interest in the health benefits of phytoestrogens. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the sale of soy foods, a major source of phytoestrogens, has increased dramatically in the past decade.

Sources of Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens consist of more than 20 compounds and can be found in more than 300 plants, such as herbs, grains and fruits. The three main classes of dietary phytoestrogens are isoflavones, lignans and coumestans:

1. Isoflavones (genistein, daidzein, glycitein and equol) are primarily found in soy beans and soy products, chickpeas and other legumes.

2. Lignans (enterolactone and enterodiol) are found in seeds (primarily flaxseed), cereal bran, legumes, and alcohol (beer and bourbon).

3. Coumestans (coumestrol) can be found in alfalfa and clover. Most food sources containing these compounds typically include more than one class of phytoestrogens.

The Skeletal Effects of Phytoestrogens

Much of the evidence concerning the potential role of phytoestrogens in bone health is based on animal studies. In fact, soybean protein, soy isoflavones, genistein, daidzein and coumestrol have all been shown to have a protective effect on bone in animals who had their ovaries surgically removed.

In humans, however, the evidence is conflicting. Compared to Caucasian populations, documented hip fracture rates are lower in countries such as Hong Kong, China and Japan where dietary phytoestrogen intakes are high. Yet reports suggest that Japanese women have a greater risk of sustaining a vertebral fracture than Caucasian women.

The Risks and Benefits

Some studies suggest that, unlike estrogen, phytoestrogens do not appear to target breast or uterine tissue. This suggests that they may act more like SERMS (selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene and tamoxifen) than actual estrogens. However, in other studies high isoflavone levels have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Clearly, additional research is needed to further evaluate the effects of phytoestrogens before judgments regarding their safety and usefulness can be made.

Key Points

Based on information available at this time, it is reasonable to make the following conclusions concerning phytoestrogens and bone health in postmenopausal women:

1. Moderate amounts of foods containing phytoestrogens can be safely included in the diet but do not expect it to help build bone. Keep to the basic rule - eat the least processed forms.

2. Due to a lack of evidence and concerns about safety, supplementation with synthetic isoflavones (ipriflavone) is in question.

3. Postmenopausal women are encouraged to view evidence concerning phytoestrogens and bone health as conflicting and incomplete. For women who are estrogen dominant increasing their phytoestrogen intake may not improve their bone position.

Several studies have explored the effects of soy isoflavones on bone health, but results have been mixed, ranging from a modest impact to no effect. Most of these studies have serious limitations, including their short duration and small sample size, making it difficult to fully evaluate the impact of these compounds on bone health.

Tomatillo: A Cure for Cancer?

Researchers study shows Tomatillo fights Cancer!

For decades the native prairie plant with tomato-like vines, and marbled-sized fruit covered in thin husks, has sprawled across the Kansas prairie in relative obscurity.
But scientists from around the world are now noticing the wild tomatillo, and wondering if it might provide a major medicinal breakthrough.

"We've found compounds from the wild tomatillo that have strong anti-cancer properties against breast cancer, skin cancer, thyroid cancer and brain cancer in our early studies," said Mark Cohen, cancer physician and research scientist who has been working with the plant for more than two years.
"It's very exciting that (wild tomatillo compounds) do have a strong potency effect against cancer and do not have significant toxicity against other cells so far in our evaluations," said Cohen, who is directing laboratory testing on the wild tomatillo compounds furnished by Timmermann.

Initially Cohen did so at the KU School of Medicine. He took the chores with him to a new job at the University of Michigan.

"We've found 15 new molecules in the plant previously not known to science," said Barbara TimmermannUniversity of Kansas medicinal chemistry chair. "Nobody knew they existed and several of them are so active against cancer."
And it's not like this is some super-delicate plant from some far away corner of the Amazon.
Wild tomatillos, Physalis longifolia, are a tough, prolific prairie plant currently thriving over much of the central United States.
(They're related to a domestic variety of tomatillo, but scientists don't know if it has similar characteristics.)

The Native Medicinal Plant Research Program began in 2010 as a joint venture using the strengths of the Kansas Biological Survey, the KU School of Pharmacy and the KU School of Medicine.
Timmermann and Kelly Kindscher, a biological survey senior scientist, have long seen the Kansas prairies as a potential pharmacy waiting to be explored.

"Everybody has been going to the rain forest and other exotic places for research," said Timmermann, who has about 30 years of experience researching medicinal plants, "but we knew the Midwest had so many plants nobody had ever really looked at."
Kindscher, a noted expert on America's prairies, had also learned that for centuries native tribes were utilizing a number of plants for medicinal purposes before the state was settled.

While Kindscher and crew eventually provided about 200 different species of prairie plants for testing, wild tomatillos quickly gained the most attention because of the findings in Timmermann's lab.As well as testing how the wild tomatillo compounds perform against cancer, the plants were also tested to see how they react to other kinds of human cells.

It would be possible, Cohen said, for a compound to be very aggressive against cancer but too toxic to healthy human cells to become a viable treatment.

Kindscher said some of the highest levels of cancer-fighting compounds are found in the plant's fruit. "The fruit is edible, and actually tastes very good," he said, "especially when it's ripe."
Acquiring enough of that fruit shouldn't be a problem in the future.

Wild tomatillos are so common Kindscher referred to them as "a common field weed" that grows on native prairies, pastures and farmlands, roughly from New Mexico to Montana and as far east as Ohio. "It's probably one of the few (prairie) plants that are doing about as well as ever," he said. "It's common because it can grow in a lot of areas. Unlike a lot of prairie plants it does well on disturbed soils." He said it grows well along roadsides or where the soil has been scarred by livestock. It's common in farm fields, too. Kindscher is certain it could be grown commercially, too. The perennial plant has proven to be hardy to temperature and rainfall extremes.

Heartland is a Manhattan-based bio-technology company backing plant-based research. In the spring, nearing the end of the program's second year, Timmermann was told funding would stop immediately.

But one thing this miracle plant cannot do, is pay for its own research. All three scientists said funding is now their greatest worry.